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March and Wisbech managers welcome FA restructure

The managers of March Town and Wisbech Town have both welcomed an imminent Football Association restructure that should have great benefits for their teams.

Planned changes to Steps 4 to Step 6 of the non league pyramid will see an additional division at Step 4, where the Fenmen play, and two additional divisions at Step 5, which should mean promotion for the Hares.

The Alliance and Leagues Committees has recommended the move and the FA Council is expected to ratify the decision in mid to late May.

Eoin McQuaid on the ball for Wisbech in their game at Pinchbeck on Tuesday, watched by Jack Keeble, Sam Murphy and Ben Richards.
Eoin McQuaid on the ball for Wisbech in their game at Pinchbeck on Tuesday, watched by Jack Keeble, Sam Murphy and Ben Richards.

Wisbech would then be playing in a more local league, running mostly from Cambridge to Lincoln, meaning less travelling to away games for fans and, crucially, players – the Fenmen have had difficulty recruiting in recent seasons because of long miles involved in trips away from Fenland Stadium in the Northern Premier League South East Division.

March would be promoted because their points per game over the last two ‘null and void’ seasons places them in the Eastern Counties League Division One North’s top three – which is the criteria to go up.

Hares boss Arran Duke said: “After how hard we have worked for the past two seasons, the move up would feel justified. We are not celebrating yet, but we are hoping it will happen.

“It’s not the way we wanted to do it but if it happens, we will have earned it. March is a sleeping giant and has been down at Step 6 for far too long.

“Our infrastructure is good and our fan base is growing every year. We want to be in Step 5 and pushing up.”

Fenmen manager Whaley told the Citizen: “If the proposed league goes ahead, it will be a real boost. For example, Dan Bucciero chose (fellow Step 4 club) Yaxley after a loan spell with us last year because they were on his doorstep and the away games were closer. Next season we’ll be in that situation for players.

“And it will be easier for supporters to get to away games too, which would be great for them and the club.”

Both March and Wisbech have arranged some low key friendles, where spectators are not allowed due to Covid-19 restrictions, during April and May.

Wisbech, who beat Pinchbeck 2-0 last week, travel to play Eastern Counties League Premier Division outfit Thetford Town next Saturday, and March are in action at Southern League side Biggleswade Town tomorrow.

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